GDub and I met Stefan Hiss and his band « Hiss » back in 1997 when we were in Germany visiting my sister who is a friend and fan. In fact, Stefan played her wedding 2 years later in 1999. They dished up a rousing night of music and I danced like a wild woman.
We’ve stayed in touch since and whenever we travel to my sister’s home outside of Stuttgart we usually get a visit in with Stefan to talk « music » and swap our current CDs.
Stefan’s latest band is « Los Santos » and he just mailed me their new CD entitled « Blue in Hawaii ». It’s a Western/ Tex-Mex celebration performed by stellar musicians. Instrumentation includes pedal steel, ukulele, dobro, banjo, and of course, accordion – Stefan Hiss is an amazing accordionist!
The fifteen tracks include, « My Wife Thinks Your Dead », « Rag Mop » and « Deja Que Salga La Luna » plus three Hiss originals, « Blue Hawaii », « Twisting in the Taiga » and « El Mezquite ».
One of my personal favs on the album is « Johnny Guitar » (a great tune written by Peggy Lee and Victor Young for the 1954 movie). They’ve capture just the right amount of « Out West » surrealism.
And their version of « Rag Mop » swings!
Stefan Hiss playing one of his original tunes: « Tanz aus meinem Grab » (Dance on My Grave):